Cardinals CB Byron Murphy says game is slowing down in 3rd season

Sep 28, 2021, 8:53 PM | Updated: 10:08 pm
Cardinals CB Byron Murphy runs through drills during practice Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in Tempe. ...
Cardinals CB Byron Murphy runs through drills during practice Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy is coming off his best game as a pro and starting to feel more comfortable in his third year in the NFL.

For the Saguaro High School alum, Murphy has always felt at home in Arizona and says he came into the league with the mentality that he belonged.

“My mindset was to come in to wherever, whoever brought me, come in and start right away since day one,” Murphy said Tuesday on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo.

Murphy was thrown into the fire in his first year in the league, forced to fill in for the injured Robert Alford and play alongside Cardinals’ legend Patrick Peterson.

Now in his third year, Murphy is one of the veterans on the squad and that early experience is starting to pay off.

“To have more experience on the field kind of made me more comfortable as the years went on. So I would say year three for me kind of everything is slowing down and I’m seeing the details a little more faster,” Murphy said.

After being shuffled from slot corner to outside, Murphy’s versatility has helped him lead by example and make sure he is prepared for whatever his team calls his name for.

“In college, I was mostly an outside corner, never really played nickel,” Murphy said.

The adjustment hasn’t bothered him.

“Nickel or playing outside corner, you’re just another defensive back,” he said. “Wherever the team wants to put me, inside or outside it doesn’t matter, I’m willing to play both.

“That’s the biggest thing for me is make sure I can play both, just in case.”

One of the challenges for the corner now is to stay patient while looking for his opportunity to make plays.

“Every offense is going to come out each Sunday with a different type of game plan so we knew if they made a good play or a good drive they were going to take a shot and that’s when it came,” Murphy said. “We knew a shot ball was going to come.”

Murphy was there to take advantage against the Jaguars.

With two interceptions and one of them returned for a touchdown, Murphy is a candidate for the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award.

It would be the second time this season a Cardinals player won the award after Chandler Jones won it in Week 1 with a five-sack performance.

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